Tala, a company that uses users' phone data and their activity to create credit scores to determine the amount of credit a user can receive, has raised $145 million in Series E funding. Primarily focused on providing loans for individuals in emerging markets, the latest investments values Tala at a little over $800 million.
Leading the round was Upstart, founded by ex-Googlers Dave Girouard, Anna Counselman, and Paul Gu. Other investors include Defi network Stellar Enterprise, alongside new investors Kindred Ventures and the J. Safra Group. The list does not end there. Existing investors IVP, Revolution Growth, and Lowercase Capital also took part in this round.
Following the announcement, Paul Gu, the co-founder of Upstart, and Denelle Dixon, the executive director and CEO of the Stellar Development Foundation, will join Tala's board of directors. What this round means for Tala in terms of funding is that it has raised a little over $360 million.
Founded in 2011, the idea behind the digital lender was based on the finding that in emerging markets, people were creditworthy but lacked immediate access to credit and quick loans. Shivani Siroya, the founder of Tala, discovered this while engaging in some research for the United Nations Population Fund.
Three years later, Tala launched its mobile application to offer credit and collateral-free loans to consumers in Kenya but has since expanded to the Philippines, Mexico, and, more recently, India. Tala boasts a customer base of over 6 million across these regions and claims to have disbursed over $2.7 billion worth of credit since its inception.
And with 12,000 new users signing up every day to access credit, Tala is making a transition to offer a broader range of financial services around an account and capture more value across the supply chain, TechCrunch reported.
Tala plans to use its new capital to expand its team across the four markets it serves and the U.S., where it is headquartered. The company also revealed its plans for geographic expansion but failed to disclose the region.